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Old 11-16-2011, 08:06 PM   #1
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70 new moles - what is causing it?

I'm a very dark skinned male in my mid 30s. I live in NY but am originally from a tropical climate (lots of sun) with no family history of skin cancer (or any cancer) in my family or in any of my relatives.
In the last few months I have had an explosion of new moles (70 of them) all over my body, but the majority are on my genitals and legs. There are also new 2 mm wide black stripes on both my right and left big toes (hallux). A few of them are growing rapidly.

I went to one dermatologist and he biopsied and removed one dysplastic mole on my leg. Then more new moles came up, so I went back to him to ask why they were popping up all of a sudden.

He says it's genetics and sun exposure, neither of which makes any sense to me. My parents live with lot more uv exposure and have the same genes, yet neither they nor any one in my extended family has even heard of moles like these or melanoma. So I went to another dermatologist and he too shrugged his shoulders and said it's genetics and sun.

Everything I read says I'm at high risk of melanoma, but I don't know how to stop the progression of these moles, they keep growing. I haven't had any peace of mind and don't know what to do.

Is there anything I can do to stop these? Please help!

 
Old 11-17-2011, 09:45 AM   #2
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Chele60 HB UserChele60 HB UserChele60 HB UserChele60 HB UserChele60 HB UserChele60 HB User
Re: 70 new moles - what is causing it?

Hello and welcome!

First off, I'm curious as to why you believe you are at high risk for melanoma? I'm asking this because you describe yourself as very dark skinned. Typically, the darker the skin, the less risk one has for developing melanoma and skin cancer in general. The natural pigmentation in the skin offers protection. It is normally those individuals who are fair-skinned, blond/red-haired, with light colored eyes who are most at risk.

Now, this doesn't mean there is no risk whatsoever.

As to moles. Well, moles can develop on any body, regardless of skin color, though they are more prevalent on people with fair skin. Also, it would be the rare person who doesn't have at least one mole somewhere on their body - it might be small, it might be covered by hair, or it might not be easily seen, but there is usually one or more. We are not born with a "set" number of moles, strangely enough. We develop moles continuously through our lifetime. We can also have moles fade and disappear throughout our lifetime. Typically, we gain most of our moles during the span between our 30s - 40s. However, moles can continue to develop throughout our lifetimes.

Moles can be caused through genetics. This might not come directly through our parents, however. It might be a grandparent, or even a great-grandparent. Who knows where those genes might have come from? Moles can also be caused from sun exposure as well. I have a huge number of moles on my shoulders, and that is where I usually suffered my yearly summer sunburns.

How do you stop the progression of moles? If you find that answer to that one, can you let me know? I'm in my 50s and I still get new moles yearly. Of course, I've had melanoma, so my skin is always changing and doing weird things! You won't be able to stop developing new moles. What you will have to do is monitor them, check for changes and see if anything is out of the ordinary. I also advise everyone to get annual skin checks with a dermatologist - even if they are not at risk of skin cancer! To me, it's the same as getting a yearly physical.

What would be concerning to me are the stripes you mention on your toes. I'm assuming these are on the nailbeds? Hallux, I believe, are bunions? But I may be incorrect, so I'm a bit confused by what you are saying with this. If you are speaking of black stripes on the nail or nailbed, that might be concerning (MIGHT!), and should be checked out. However, this can be a very, very common feature among individuals with dark skin.

I think as long as you stay in touch with your body and do annual skin checks, you should be fine. Listen to your gut - that really is your best indication!

Last edited by Administrator; 11-17-2011 at 10:31 PM.

 
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Old 11-17-2011, 08:49 PM   #3
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Re: 70 new moles - what is causing it?

Thanks Chele, I appreciate your taking the time and sharing your story.

Anyone with over 50 regular moles and more than a few dysplastic mole is considered at high risk for melanoma. Fair skin is more at risk, but that doesn't mean dark skin is not at risk.

I posted here to find out if anyone has found a way to stop the growth of these moles. Maybe anti-viral drugs, maybe interferons, maybe herbal remedies, maybe .... something!

Last edited by Administrator; 11-17-2011 at 10:42 PM.

 
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